1 9 7 3 – 1 9 7 6 (USA)
4270 x 30 minute episodes
“Keep your eye on this spot! You are about to see one celebrity and one contestant step into this circle with a chance to win $10,000 in less than a minute! Ladies and gentlemen, this – is the $10,000 Pyramid!!”
The $10,000 Pyramid debuted on Monday 26 March 1973 on CBS-TV at 10:30am.
Dick Clark originally hosted the show, which over the years morphed into The $20,000 Pyramid, The $25,000 Pyramid and The $50,000 Pyramid.
Faltering ratings prompted CBS to prematurely cancel the show on 29 March 1974 with celebrity guests Carol Channing and Soupy Sales.
After an absence of just five weeks, the show returned on ABC-TV (Monday 6 May 1974) with celebrity guests Anne Meara and Soupy Sales.
That same fall, a once-a-week night time $25,000 Pyramid version for syndication in the primetime slot debuted with host Bill Cullen and celebrity guests Anne Meara and William Shatner.
This show also evolved into the popular $100,000 Pyramid from September 1985 to August 1988. Dick Clark hosted once again. The $100,000 Pyramid returned once more in the 90s with John Davidson as the host.
The first celebrity guests on the premiere were June Lockhart and Rob Reiner. Reiner went on to become the first celebrity with his civilian partner to successfully climb to the top of the big pyramid (his winning clue for “Things With A Hole” was “Doughnuts”).
The highest scoring main games on record (through some amazing tie-breakers) occurred on Friday 4 July 1975 in a broadcast featuring Lucie Arnaz and Anson Williams (with a score of 45-44), and on Monday 12 June 1978 with a score of 43-42 in a show featuring Sandy Duncan and Nipsey Russell.
The celebrity guest, with his civilian partner, who was able to win at the big pyramid in the quickest time on record was Billy Crystal in November 1977 who won in an amazing 26 seconds (while a few others have done it in 30 seconds).